I swept the kitchen floor three times today. Yes, I reluctantly claim OCD tendencies, but in this case I count it a God-given gift, because the health of my child depends on my kitchen floor.
Picture this: One curious toddler who has just learned how to walk and explore. She runs rather than walks, and climbs faster than the speed of light. (When I took Elianna to Stride Rite for her first 'real' shoes at 13 months old, I sat her down long enough to get out my ATM card. As I sat the card on the counter my four year old began screaming 'mommy! mommy!' I looked and Elianna was already out the door and around the corner, having escaped into the mall. holy cow!)
Picture this: That same toddler can not have even one CRUMB off of the floor, left under the table, that you accidentally missed with the broom, or else she will have flu like symptoms complete with cramping and pain, possible malnutrition, and internal shock for weeks.
We have our entire kitchen and dining area gated off. But sometimes the gates don't get shut all of the way, or sometimes I have swept and am not cooking and no one is eating...so I let her in. Shortly after getting her to baseline and beginning the journey of figuring out how to trial foods the 'right' way, I glanced across the kitchen and saw Ellie use that famous toddler pincer grasp to pick something up off the floor. I ran. I grabbed. I swept her mouth. I begged her to spit it out. Too late. It looked green. I thought it might have been a piece of spinach. Great. Green vegetables, high in protein. This might not be good.
And sure enough. Within 10 minute she was groggy and falling asleep. I knew what was coming and all I could do was watch. All FPIES mommies know. 30 minutes later she woke up screaming. This time she was feverish, and had a red splotchy rash over her whole body that looked like inflamed eczema. The crying continued. She was clearly in pain. This time there was no crazy vomiting, and we just waited for the long process of it to pass through her intestines. She would spend minutes at a time just sprawled flat on her tummy on the floor, before getting up and wanting to be held.
The cramping seemed to subside that afternoon, but it was two days of bloody poo and lethargy. She was wasted.
I hate the kitchen floor. Did I mention that today I swept it three times? I used to barely have time to sweep it at all. Now its a matter of life or death. Amazing what you suddenly have time for.